BOISE, Idaho (5/15/09)--Idaho credit unions have weathered the current U.S. economic recession well, according to Alan Cameron, president/CEO of the Idaho Credit Union League. The state’s first credit union charter was filed in 1934 and now nearly a third of Idaho’s residents (514,000) are members of credit unions with 62 credit unions available from which to choose (Idaho Business Review May 11). “There are places in this state where credit unions are the only financial institution available,” he told the publication. The strength of the credit unions system lies in its conservative nature, Cameron added. “I think that’s a point that needs to be stressed,’ he said. “The incentive of the organization is to find the best possible way to serve the members, building the [credit union] into a strong financial institution. “You do have to charge for your services, you do have to charge interest, but what the focus comes down to is what’s best for the member,” Cameron continued. When asked if credit unions were suffering as much as banks, Cameron drew a line of separation. “We haven't had any [credit unions] close this year,” he told the Review. “I don't want to downplay that, there have been challenges this year. We did have two credit unions that merged this year. They merged in both instances because their fields of membership basically went away or were no longer viable. Those are factors outside our control. In order to protect the members’ money, and provide a continuation of service to the members, often times a [merger] is necessary. It's typical in what we see. “We’ve never had a failure of a credit union in Idaho,” he added.